NBC launches a hoped-for 'Smash' with musical drama
What do you get? A
Some may see it as
The backstage turmoil of launching a Broadway show fuels the program, with "Will & Grace" Emmy recipient
Additional "Smash" regulars include
The series also has impressive guests lined up: In a rare television appearance,
"It's been a dream, honestly," Messing says of making the show. "The moment I finished reading the (pilot) script and put it down, I called my representatives and said, 'I have to be a part of this.' Cut to my being offered the part, cut to our doing the pilot and having the time of our lives with the most thrilling creative team. Now we've all picked up and moved to New York (where the series is filmed), and it's been an experience that has far exceeded my expectations."
The same goes for McPhee, who claims "Smash" is fulfilling any Broadway performing ambitions she has, at least for now. The fifth-season "Idol" runner-up recalls that when she first heard about the show, "I didn't know if there would be a part for me, but I said, 'There has to be a part for me!' My then-manager quickly calmed me down by saying, 'You've got some time, but we just wanted to let you know it's in the pipeline.'
"Every six months or so, I'd think, 'I wonder what happened to that pilot.' It came up again last year, and I just couldn't wait to get my hands on the script. I kept turning the pages, and I think the actual product turned out even better than what was written."
"Smash" has had a longtime champion in NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt, who brought the project with him when he moved over from
Columbia Records will release songs performed on "Smash" by McPhee, who also has a solo deal with the label, and others. Many are crooned at various Big Apple sites, prompting Messing to term the show "a love letter to New York. We're allowed to shoot all over, from Harlem to Washington Heights to Brooklyn to
"Smash" was held purposely until midseason so it could be teamed on Mondays with the singing competition
As someone of notable voice herself, McPhee also likes the scheduling. The opening scene of "Smash" is of her character auditioning, but she maintains that filming it didn't give her any "American Idol" flashbacks.
"It's funny, I never once thought about that. There are hundreds and hundreds of auditions I've been on, and obviously, that was one that people remember because it was broadcast on national television.
"Reality show auditions are a little bit different," McPhee adds, "because they're kind of made for television. The ones I've been on the past four or five years, trying to get acting jobs, were the references I used."
"Will & Grace" was very much an ensemble piece for NBC, where Messing has returned along with fellow Emmy winner
"I did one hourlong drama (
"Then it moved with Bob to (broadcast-)network prime time, where it could potentially be 24 episodes a year. That made me very nervous, but luckily, Theresa is also a mother, and everyone involved seems to respect my concerns. (With the